What technology will look like in 2022
After the pandemic prompts us to spend more time online than ever before, 2022 will focus on the consequences of our increasingly digitalized lives.
The past 12 months have shown how much Big Tech can be trusted to protect its young and vulnerable users after a string of damning reports of the Wall Street Journal laid bare the extent of research Facebook conducted into the negative effects its Instagram photo-sharing app has on teenage mental health and body image, especially teenage girls.
As the global backlash prompted Instagram to “pause” work on a new version of its platform designed specifically for children under 13 in September, the company may be trying to resuscitate the project in September. over the next year after consultation with parents and child safety experts. .
Protecting children underpins the Online Safety Bill – the government’s attempt to hold internet companies accountable for what happens on their platforms in the form of the world’s first online safety laws.
The bill is due to be presented to Parliament for approval in 2022 following careful scrutiny and political wrangling over what it should and should not cover and how effectively the regulator Ofcom will be able to. to bring some of the world’s most powerful companies to heel.
This is particularly relevant after the wave of despicable racism targeting English footballers following their final Euro defeat in July and the ongoing feuds between MPs and privacy activists over online anonymity .
The increase in time spent online in recent years has also accelerated and has helped standardize some weird tech concepts. After artist Beeple entered the history books by selling digital artwork Daily – The first 5,000 days For a record $ 69 million in March, the NFT (non-fungible token) mania is set to continue its inexorable rise until 2022 after auction house Sotheby’s celebrated a record year of sales – albeit a crash Bitcoin-style hype also seems imminent.
Likewise, rebranding Facebook as Meta in an effort to bring the theoretical metaverse (a network of digital spaces) into the mainstream will have us all spending even more time online over the next year or so. if Mark Zuckerberg gets what he wants. But it’ll be the gaming giants and musicians who persuade us to don VR headsets for entertainment and socializing, rather than Zuckerberg’s promise that it will revolutionize the future of work. Because despite the best efforts of the tech industry, there will be as many reasons to disconnect in 2022 as to stay connected.